I’ve been away.

I’ve been away.

I haven’t written this year.

Why? Do I have nothing to say? 

The answer: I was afraid. I was afraid to say the wrong thing, to give the wrong impressions, and to become vulnerable. 

The truth is, when I started this blog I wanted to help people. I wanted to show them they are not alone and I wanted to create a blog as a “safe space” to express things I’ve experienced for individuals to relate to themselves. I quickly became scared of becoming “too personal”. I didn’t want to use the terms “I” or “me” when writing in fear of becoming exposed and weak. I lost interest in writing and went into a slump. 

This year has taught me something new.

This year has taught me that vulnerability is strength.

This year has been the year of transparency. 

I have chosen to write about myself in hopes of inspiring others through my personal journey rather than through universally shared experiences. 

This year I learned the value of myself. 

This year I learned to love myself.

This is my journey:

Two years ago, I was a completely different person from the person I am today. I would have done anything to fit in with the people I surrounded myself with. I even went as far as to change my hair color to bleach blonde, wear a lot of pink (I hate pink), take out my nose piercing, and hide my tattoos to put an end to the ridicule I was facing. Not only was I changing my outward appearance to satisfy those around me, but I was slowly and unknowingly changing inwardly as well. I became less myself day after day. I became timid, I stopped expressing things I believed in, and I eventually no longer even knew what I believed in. I had no idea who I was and in truth, I hated myself. 

One year ago, I cut everyone and everything out of my life. I commuted to school from my dad’s house three hours every day in hopes of keeping my mind occupied on anything other than myself. If I wasn’t driving to and from school, I was lying in bed. Spring Break of 2018 I didn’t leave my bed for 6 days and didn’t eat for 4. I was miserable. I lost my sense of humor, my motivation, my friends, and even my family. I still didn’t know who I was anymore and I was desperate to find who I am, I was desperate to love myself. 

This past year began as a blank canvas for me. I wanted to fall in love with myself, and I did. I set out on a journey of self discovery to find myself, my style, and my passions. 

This past year has been filled with milestones—

I uncovered my passion for English, changed my major, and fell in love with writing. 

I stopped covering my tattoos (got even more), put that nose piercing back in, had every hair color in the book (currently rocking blue), and I no longer own anything pink. 

I started going to the gym every day.

I became a vegan. 

I don’t commute to school anymore and live happily alone. 

I discovered I’m honest and blunt, but one of the most compassionate people you will ever come across. 

I surrounded myself with the most incredible friends a girl could ask for. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and done just about everything else in between.

I stopped worrying about what people are going to think of me, and if they don’t like that…they can kiss my ass.

I became myself. 

Am I still learning who I am? Yes, of course, I will always learn new things about who I am. I am simply here to bring you along on my journey, to become more personal and vulnerable, and to happily say that I am myself again.

~I am back~

To Christy & Aly.

Disclaimer—This is related much more to my personal life than I usually care to share:

The past three years of my life have been a whirlwind, to say the least. There has been tragedy, depression, growth, decisions, love, heartbreak, self-discovery, laughter, & happiness. 

Your initial thought may be: Is this another one of those “comeback” stories everyone writes about?

The answer: no, this is not another “comeback” story, this is not just a simple story about my life, what I’ve been through, & ending with a cute little “happy-ending” bow on top. This is so much more than that to me.

If you know me, have seen my tattoos, or have read my blog in the past, it is pretty obvious that my mom passed away a few years ago (3 to be exact). I’m pretty open about it. I’m not sensitive about it, nor am I afraid to talk about it.

What I’ve noticed I do tend to shy away from, however, is the discussion of my family & home life currently. 

Why you ask? I don’t have an answer for you. I like to consider myself an open book, but the truth is, I’m not too sure if I am anymore. I’ve been much more closed off & guarded recently than I have ever been before. 

So why am I writing about this? What is the point? What am I trying to say?

Here goes.

Three years ago my mom past away suddenly. It was tragic. It was life altering. It was probably the darkest time in my life that I have experienced. 

But this isn’t about that. This is about someone else. 

Three years ago my mom past away suddenly. 

Last weekend I got the most amazing step-mom I could have asked for. 

Lets rewind to two years ago.

Sitting on the couch with my dad, he looks at me & he says, “I’m going on a date tonight.” I didn’t even know he was THINKING about dating, let alone talking to someone. So, I tell him okay, & that I would like to meet this woman at some point if he thinks that it is going somewhere. Spoiler alert: it went somewhere. After multiple dates (probably two or three) I said that I wanted to meet her. I did not realize that by saying that I would not be meeting my dads girlfriend, but I would be meeting my future step-mom—Christy. 

Fast forwarding to the present again, Christy & my dad had the most amazing wedding last weekend, where I was SUPPOSED to make a toast. 

Did I make a toast? Not the one I would have liked to have made. 

Leading up the wedding family members kept asking me if I had thought about what I was going to say. I never had an answer for them. I had sat down at my computer countless times to try & think of something to say, but as I said earlier, I shy away from the discussion of my family & home life currently. 

So it was time to make my toast at the wedding, I got up, & I spoke for approximately 20 seconds..maybe even less. I didn’t say anything heartfelt, funny, or sweet, I just congratulated by dad & Christy & I sat down. 

The truth is, I didn’t make a toast because I didn’t know how to put into words what I wanted to say. I didn’t know how to tell Christy how much she’s done for my dad & I. I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling. I was overwhelmed. 

But I think I finally know. 

To Christy, 

Thank you. Thank you for coming into our lives. Thank you for stepping into the role of a mother figure for me. Thank you for making my dad (Joe as I like to call him) the happiest I have ever seen him. Thank you for being you. I don’t think you have any idea how much you mean to me & I don’t know if you ever will, but I truly don’t know what I would do without you in our lives. You came into our lives at one of the darkest times & have been the brightest shining light for us. You are one of the funniest people I know, & also the most kindhearted & warm person I have ever met. 

Thank you. For everything. 

Another thing I haven’t mentioned? 

Christy has a daughter—Aly. 

Growing up as an only child, Aly was a culture shock, to say the least. 

And Aly has been THE best culture shock I have ever had. 

To Aly,

I honestly don’t know where to begin with you. Somehow, the fact that you are six years younger than me isn’t even slightly a factor. You’re my best friend. It’s amazing to me that knowing you only for two years, it seems like I’ve known you my entire life. You are the only person that I know I can trust to tell anything. I honestly didn’t know that I needed a sister before you came into my life, but I wouldn’t trade you for the world. Thank you, for being there for me, for being my best friend, & most importantly..for being my sister. 

I’m not one to ramble, nor I am one to really express my feelings about anything, but Christy & Aly have been the best thing to come into my life & I needed to share. I needed to express my gratitude & happiness for them, & I needed to finally make a toast to Christy & Joe.

Thank you for letting me ramble.

Congratulations Christy & Joe.

From the daughter.

No matter the profession, no matter the wealth (or lack there of), no matter the social status, no matter the age, no matter the conditions, individuals struggle with psychological disorders each and every day.

Depression, anxiety, substance abuse, addiction, eating disorders, and countless other dangerous disorders prey on a community of individuals which have fallen victim to traumatic experiences, or simply have been diagnosed from adolescence.

Immeasurable numbers of these victims come forward to try to make a difference within society and while coming forward takes a strong act of courage, there are many unsung heroes related to the matter.

Who are these unnamed heroes?

The children.

The children raised by parents with psychological disorders.The children forced to experience their parent’s highs and lows, resulting in the seclusion from societal norms and companions.The children, not having an alternative, becoming independent and mature much younger than expected.

How do I know this?

I know this because I am that child. I was the child experiencing the highs and lows. I was the child being forced into seclusion. I was the child with independence and maturity. It was me. It IS me.

To the other children:

You are not alone. You do not have to seclude yourself from others, afraid that they may discover the secret hiding in your home. You are strong and you are independent. You are not at fault, this is a disease of the mind caused by nothing you could have prevented nor done. Do not be ashamed of your parent. Do not treat them differently. Love and cherish them unconditionally, because one day they may not be there to love you unconditionally in return.

To mom:

Thank you. Thank you for raising me to be the strong, independent, mature woman I have become. Thank you for supporting me, encouraging me, and loving me completely. I know now that I was not at fault and neither were you.

I miss you.

I will see you later.

From the daughter.

xoxo

To the chameleon.

 

Why does everyone seem exceptionally more extraordinary than me?

The question seemingly every young adult asks themselves if they don’t feel the sense of acceptance among peers.

Ideals, as well as social “norms” and trends, tend to differ between the different communities around the globe, but the concept of “fitting in” is never changing.    

Beginning in youth, children establish the awareness of forming bonds and friendships with communities of people they thrive in, but do these communities share the same ambitions? Are these friendships merely manufactured by those of us who believe the unmasking of our genuine dreams and aspirations will lead to ridicule and laughter?

A chameleon is considered a master of disguise within the animal kingdom, changing his color to duplicate his surroundings; he can become whoever is demanded within the urgency of the occasion.

We are chameleons.

We modify what we are revolving around the company in which we associate to avoid mockery, eventually resulting in the quiet disappearance of who we actually desire to be.

Never be ashamed of your ambition.

To the chameleon:

Never be ashamed of your ambition. Never fear the ridicule. Never fear the mockery. Never be apologetic of your true identity.

Dream big. Follow your ambition. Be you.

We are all chameleons in one-way or another, but why? Why do we feel it crucial to harmonize our ideals with the ideals of one another?

The idea of conforming to fit into a certain social situation to avoid disdain is a misfortune most, if not all, of us fall victim to.

Please, join me in the journey of self-acceptance, deferring from the judgment.

From one chameleon to another.

xoxo

Self discovery.

Does one truly ever know the entirety of their own thoughts, passions, & dreams, or do we all live in a state of uncertainty?

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” Gustave Flaubert

Come with me as I discover my own passions & ambitions, while also helping you discover yours.

xoxo

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